How do I get compensated for my injuries if the at-fault driver is under-insured?
If you're in a car accident caused by a negligent driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries, can you still collect the money you need?
Yes – possibly from two insurance policies.
First, seek to collect the maximum coverage from the other driver’s policy. In a typical scenario, you make a bodily injury or liability claim against the other driver's insurer, who may pay you $15,000 or $25,000. Then, if you have underinsured motorist coverage, you can pursue a second claim against your insurance company.
To learn if your policy includes this optional coverage, and find out the full dollar amount of your coverage, call your insurance agent. You can also review your policy declarations page, which lists each of your coverages, including compensation for medical bills, lost income, and bodily injury.
If you do have underinsured motorist coverage, then your insurer will act as if it insures the other driver. This means that they will aggressively seek to minimize the money ultimately paid to you. They may argue that you were partially at fault, or that your injuries are less severe or life-changing than you claim.
Given the intensity of the pushback from your own insurance company, if I am representing you, I typically demand a very large settlement check relative to your damages, then negotiate from that position.
The amount your insurer pays will be based upon your out-of-pocket medical expenses, your current and future income losses, and the severity of your injuries and disabilities. Your check could range from $50,000 to over $250,000, particularly if...
• you are fully or partially unable to work
• you can no longer enjoy your recreational activities
• your injuries are causing ongoing or chronic pain
Before accepting any settlement, it's vitally important to get expert legal advice concerning your best course of action. Knowing the specific compensation you are entitled to, and understanding your insurance company’s "game plan” can dramatically increase the total compensation you receive.
For your free consultation with a highly experienced personal injury lawyer, call me, Attorney Andrew Goldberg, at 610-892-7744, or visit andrewgoldberglawyer.com to complete the contact form.